BEIRUT (AP) — An al-Qaida-inspired group claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks across Syria, the latest evidence that extremists are exploiting the chaos to make inroads in another Middle Eastern country. […]
On Tuesday, the SITE monitoring group, which tracks jihadist chatter on the Internet, said the Al-Nusra Front released statements on extremist websites in late June claiming the attacks were to avenge the killings of Syrians by the government.
One of the attacks targeted a pro-regime television station in the town of Drousha, south of the capital, Damascus, on June 27. Seven people were killed in the attack on Al-Ikhbariya TV.
Al-Nusra said the station is an arm of the regime and the attack sought to make the station “taste from the cup of torture” and force every member of the regime to wonder: “When will my turn come?” The statement included photos of 11 men it said were kidnapped in the attack.
Al-Ikhbariya is privately owned but often acts as a regime mouthpiece.
Other attacks in the latest claim of responsibility include dozens of armed raids and bombings — including suicide bombings — in Syrian cities.
Little is known about Al-Nusra, although Western intelligence officials say it could be a front for a branch of al-Qaida militants from Iraq operating in Syria. The group has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks in Syria, including suicide bombings, in the past.